When I applied the ole Kaleidoscope filter to one of my favourite photos, "Nesting" (below), this very satisfying black-and-white, graphic, almost tribal pattern emerged. I thought, "Ah ha! I can do something with this."
About the original photo. This was taken, of course, during the Great Big Trip of 2005, during a visit to Hasard de Cheratte, an abandoned coal mine near Liege, Belgium. The first shaft was dug in 1850, but it sounds like it didn't really get going until 1907. I should write a post devoted to just this visit, because it really was extraordinary.
Because I was interested in manipulating the braided cable part of the photo only, I cropped it out. Then, because the resulting canvas was too skinny, I mirrored it. Looking at the above image, I'd have to say that just that simple manipulation produced a very strong piece. It puts me in mind of a cow skull, or perhaps an alien overlord.
Below are examples of further manipulation. I like the next one the best. Thirteen points, baby!